Monday, August 20, 2012

Boys & School

Last February, Deseret News ran a story entitled, "The War on Boys". The first series covers how boys are losing ground in education, emotional health, and jobs . The second series covers the effects of sex, media and violence on boys. I found the article to be eye opening. In its introductory paragraphs it states:

"Boys are losing ground in schools geared to how girls learn and too many are growing up without male mentors in either homes or classrooms. Name a daunting number — higher suicide rates, how many drop out of high school or graduate from college or even take medication for attention deficit — and girls fare better than boys. It is not deliberate, but society seems to have declared a war on boys."

I was also shocked to learn that, "For every 100 women who earn a bachelor's degree, only 73 men earn one. Women outnumber men obtaining master's degrees by more than 30 percent."

As the mother of a boy, I am very interested in his academic success- for his personal happiness as well as for his ability to fulfill his divine responsibilities. I do believe that there are inherent differences between boys and girls and their development, and it seems a shame that our education system can not teach students in more flexible or custom approaches. It is great that girls are making such educational strides, but I don't think boys should suffer as a consequence. In our culture of equality for everyone, I think it is also wise to acknowledge that a "one size fits all" approach is not always best. The approach may be "equal" but certainly the results are not. 
As a mother, I hope that if I am aware of what challenges my children may be up against I can do the best I can to help compensate for what is lacking. If potential problems are on my radar, I can be on the lookout and seek to gain inspiration on how to navigate those challenges. At least that is my hope. Knowing is half the battle!

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